9 March 2021 – Indianapolis – Today launches the fifth year of the Project Indy Youth Jobs initiative. Through the Project Indy digital job search platform, thousands of Indianapolis young people are connected to jobs each year. This tool is used as a resource by over 100 employers as they seek to fill their full-time and part-time positions and youth as they look for employment, particularly during the summer months. As with all other things, this initiative and the young people it supports have seen the repercussions of the COVID-19 impact.
In 2020 over 32% of young adults 16-24 were employed in the hospitality and tourism industry – one that has suffered greatly from the pandemic. While this is felt globally, Indianapolis particularly struggled with a large portion of the local economy relying on the success of those industries.
“Project Indy has been incredibly successful over the past five years, connecting young people with jobs and skill-building opportunities in industries across Indianapolis,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This year, Project Indy will be a part of our city’s economic comeback from the pandemic, boosting our hospitality and tourism workforces and contributing to overall job growth. And it will help employers as well, as young workers are exposed to new career paths in our city’s core industries. It truly is a win-win.”
Project Indy is a location-based, job search platform connecting young adults to local employers. With a large majority of the hospitality industry traditionally staffed by youth and young adults, major sporting events like the ones Indianapolis will host this March provide opportunities for youth to not only make money, but to obtain important job skills that will help them be successful as they progress through the workforce.
“Indianapolis is fortunate to be hosting upcoming basketball tournaments on the national stage,” said Department of Tourism, Event and Sports Management Chair at IUPUI, Brian Krohn. “Not only will the buzz positively impact our economy, there will also be many part-time jobs now available for young workers to assist with the influx of visitors and our hope that this will provide the opportunity for many of our local businesses to open their doors again.”
In Indianapolis, sports and events have always been tools to drive economic growth – and the tournaments will be no exception.
“Events like GenCon, FDIC, and now March Madness, held at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium are often considered to be what defines Indianapolis. I’ve always maintained that it’s the people behind events like these that make our city great,” said Andy Mallon, Executive Director, Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. “By hiring through Project Indy, employers in all different industries, including hospitality, have the opportunity to invest in the next generation of young ambassadors for Indianapolis.”
By offering jobs throughout Indianapolis, Project Indy will be able to service events like those taking place this month. As youth are gainfully employed, they learn additional skills that will help them as they progress through their career.
“The ongoing impact of hiring a young person goes far beyond the day-to-day job responsibilities. What they learn will influence who they are as a person, how they grow in their soft and hard skills, and what industries they choose to go into when they formally progress into the workforce,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, President & CEO of EmployIndy. “This provides us as employers an opportunity to make what we know will be beneficial investments both short- and long-term as we impact someone today and arm them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the future.”
Employers can sign up today to have their positions listed on the Project Indy job search platform at projectindy.net
The entire EmployIndy and YES Indy family mourns with the Indianapolis community after the loss of “Mr. Johnny” Purchase, a beloved mentor and community leader who helped shape the lives of so many young persons throughout our city. He was an active and dedicated member of both the YES Indy and Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC) teams, providing mentorship and guidance to so many who participated in youth and family focused programming.
“He’s one of the most thoughtful men I know.” expressed Jamiah Banks, a YES Indy participant, in remembering the role that Mr. Johnny played in his life. “He did whatever he could to help others.” Jamiah also recalled memories of how Mr. Johnny would help him with his school work and regularly challenge him to 3-point shootout competitions in the basketball gym.
Mr. Johnny tragically lost his life on January 12, 2021 while out serving in the community, bringing hope to struggling families. When serving with YES Indy, Mr. Johnny was always faithful to reinforce YES Indy’s work by encouraging the young people around him to establish a vision for their life and achieve it. “Mentor, life-coach, motivator, professional, passionate, compassionate, committed, dependable, firm, fair, warm, steady. These are but a few of the adjectives that come to mind when I think of Johnny Purchase.” said Rev. Rodney T. Francis, Chief Programs Officer at EmployIndy. “Johnny epitomized the ideal Re-Engagement Facilitator. He had a unique way of reaching and connecting with Opportunity Youth. His impact was huge and his loss is a tremendous blow to our community.”
When Devonte Whitehead, a mentee of Mr. Johnny’s, received his forklift license, Mr. Johnny took him out to lunch to celebrate the accomplishment. “Everything he did, he did it with a purpose.” remembers Whitehead. “He would always have a smile on his face and if you were having a bad day, he could cheer you up by just looking at you.”
Mr. Johnny Purchase served as a Family Success Coach at the Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC) where he had an “unyielding commitment to engender a vision of hope.” Lashawn Offett, a mentee of Mr. Johnny’s at EMCC, described him as a caring person who ultimately motivated him to go back to school to finish his diploma.
On behalf of all of the EmployIndy staff, we ask that you join us in lifting up the Purchase family, keeping them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. If you would like to offer support in additional ways, details can be found on the family’s GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/07a48022
Virtual resources and, until further notice, WorkOne Indy center will continue to be available to Indianapolis residents affected by job loss as COVID-19 evolves
Indianapolis – 16 March 2020 – WorkOne Indy is continuing to provide and maintain resources for job seekers as the effects of COVID-19 directly impact Indianapolis workers and job seekers. Due to event cancellations and temporary business closures, it is foreseen that individuals in Marion County could experience permanent or temporary job loss during this time.
These individuals are encouraged to first file for unemployment insurance through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development at https://www.in.gov/dwd/2334.htm. Additional resources to assist affected workers with the unemployment insurance filing process, including information regarding frequently asked questions about payment, benefits, claims and voucher, are available at https://www.in.gov/dwd/3704.htm.
Under the direction of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the WorkOne Indy American Job Center will remain open until further notice. WorkOne Indy will temporarily discontinue community services at embedded locations due to the temporary closure of the Indianapolis Public Library and adult education locations. Individuals accessing WorkOne Indy services in those locations should be redirected to the main office at 4410 N. Shadeland Avenue to access services.
Due to the need to possibly accommodate more visitors in response to these circumstances, some non-required, onsite workshops may also be offered with less frequency or temporarily suspended in an effort to adjust to staffing levels that may be impacted by this pandemic. Adjustments will be made to adhere to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to implement restrictions on all non-essential gatherings of more than 50 individuals in Indianapolis. This includes Wednesdays at WorkOne, a weekly job fair at WorkOne Indy, which has been cancelled until further notice.
Job seekers are still able to utilize the resources provided at WorkOne Indy:
- Job search assistance;
- 1:1 career navigation;
- Publicly available computers;
- Career development tools; and
- Assistance with filing for unemployment benefits.
Individuals currently receiving unemployment insurance, and who have recently received letters requiring them to attend a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment orientation workshop at WorkOne Indy, are exempt for the next four weeks or through the week of April 17th. These individuals are not required at this time to visit WorkOne Indy.
As dislocated workers navigate their recent financial change, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office, in partnership with EmployIndy, will offer free, no-strings attached financial counseling available through Pete the Planner. Individuals interested in the service can get started by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to seeking in-person support at WorkOne Indy and financial counseling through Pete the Planner, job seekers can access virtual resources, career development tips, and additional information on workoneindy.com. On employindy.org, the Job Board will remain available and be regularly updated by EmployIndy staff for job seekers to use as a tool during their job search process.
Updates and information regarding the job search process will continue to be shared by EmployIndy in order to keep Marion County job seekers readily informed, including those who have experienced permanent or temporary dislocation due to the economic effects of COVID-19.